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Are Drano and Liquid Plumber Truly Bad for Your Pipes?

When you encounter a clogged drain in your kitchen or bathroom, your first thought is to fix the problem as quickly as possible. Since many homeowners are in a pinch to fix their drain clogs before the next family dinner or get-together, they’ll rush to the store and purchase a chemical drain cleaner.

Does this sound like you? Although these drain cleaners are known for being quick and effective solutions to the problem, many professional plumbers advise homeowners to avoid using them. Some of the most common drain cleaning products they warn against include Drano and Liquid Plumr (also referred to as Liquid Plumber).

So, are Drano and Liquid Plumber truly bad for your pipes? Let’s go over everything you need to know below.

Yes, Liquid Plumr & Drano Can Damage Pipes

There’s no sugarcoating it. Liquid Plumr and Drano can damage pipes to a point beyond repair. This is especially true if you use these products on a frequent process or overdo them.

These chemical drain cleaners are specifically designed to eat through any and all organic matter they come into contact with — and sometimes, their destructive powers go even further. The chemicals in these products can deteriorate PVC pipes and are even known to cause damage to metal pipes. This can pose serious problems for your plumbing system, leaving you with a larger mess than you started with. The last thing you want to do is attempt to clean your drain and end up needing an emergency plumber in Las Vegas, NV.

These Products Can Pose Other Dangers, Too

However, potential plumbing problems aren’t the only thing you should be wary of. These products can potentially release toxic fumes into your home if they come into contact with other household cleaning products.

When these products combine, dangerous chemical reactions can occur — posing a threat to you and your family. If you decide to use a chemical drain cleaner, you’ll want to ensure that they don’t come into contact with any other cleaning agents.

What Is in Drano and Liquid Plumr?

Although you now know that Liquid Plumr and Drano can damage pipes, you might be wondering: how? What do these chemical drain cleaners contain that makes them a danger to your plumbing system?

When it comes down to it, both of these products include one central ingredient: sodium hydroxide (lye). This ingredient is known for its effectiveness at dissolving drain clogs. However, as we mentioned above, lye can also damage a wide range of pipes. 

Drano contains various other ingredients, including sodium nitrate, bleach, and sodium chloride. Liquid Plumr is also known to have bleach. Knowing what these products contain is important before pouring them down the drain.

Fortunately, There Are Many Other Drain Cleaning Methods

Drano and Liquid Plumber are truly bad for your pipes, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t many other effective drain-cleaning methods to try. In fact, there are numerous methods to try; some may require you to make a quick trip to the home improvement store, but they won’t damage your drains like chemical drain cleaners.

Let’s discuss some of the most common and effective drain cleaning methods to help you find a solution that works for you.


Cup plungers are an excellent alternative to store-bought drain cleaners. These handy plumbing tools work by loosening the clog so that the blockage can be flushed away. However, if you have a clog in the toilet bowl, you’ll most likely want to opt for a flange plunger. These plungers fit much more snugly in the toilet but work the same way as cup plungers.

Drain Snakes

Another plumbing tool you can use to remove blockages is the drain snake, otherwise known as the “plumber’s snake.” These tools include two important components: a handle and a cable. When the cable is extended into the clogged drain, the coiled spring on the end of it will trap and collect the blockage. Once you feel like you’ve removed the blockage, you can withdraw the cable from the drain.

It can be easy to feel intimidated by a drain snake, especially if you aren’t all that familiar with removing drain clogs. If you feel uncomfortable using one of these tools, it’s best to either try a different method or contact a professional plumber for help.

Homemade Drain Cleaners

Did you know that the most effective drain cleaner could be sitting unused in your kitchen pantry? For example, baking soda and vinegar are known for their ability to remove drain clogs when combined. Pour ½ cup of baking soda into the drain, immediately followed by one cup of vinegar. Let the mixture sit in the drain for anywhere from an hour to overnight. Afterward, flush the drain with hot water from the tap or a pot of boiling water.

If the mixture doesn’t appear to have removed the clog, you can repeat the process a few more times. Although Drano can damage pipes, you can feel confident that baking soda and vinegar will keep your drains safe while providing an effective, clean solution.

Professional Drain Cleanings

Are you dealing with a stubborn clog? Are you afraid to damage your drains by attempting one of the methods above? Whatever the case may be, rest assured that you can always call a professional plumber for help. Clogged drains are a bother, and plumbing companies offer reliable solutions to quickly get rid of the problem. These solutions can include everything from snaking to hydro jetting.

The Bottom Line

Drano and Liquid Plumber are truly bad for your pipes — but that doesn’t mean you don’t have other options. There are many different methods to try. Although they all might not work for you, there is likely to be one solution that meets your needs. This could be a homemade drain cleaner, or it could be a professional drain cleaning service.

Schedule Plumbing Services With Our Expert Team!

Clogged drains can be some of the most frustrating plumbing issues. Although you might want the quickest solution, Drano and Liquid Plumber are truly bad for your pipes when used frequently.
Fortunately, the drain and pipe maintenance experts at  Pure Plumbing & Air are here to help. Get in touch with us today to schedule a drain cleaning in Las Vegas, NV, or the surrounding area!